European Capitals of CultureΠοιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

City and culture - evaluation



Umeå 2014

After Stockholm, Sweden's next European Capital of Culture was Umeå 2014.

Umeå is located about 600 km north of Stockholm and about 400 km south of the Arctic Circle. It is said to be one of the fastest growing cities in Europe.

In an official text to announce how artists can apply for projects to be realized in 2014 (deadline end of June 2013), it was said that "Umeå a progressive and dynamic cultural life is perceived as key to continuous positive growth. It is a buzzing and youthful city with a rich cultural life, inviting and encouraging new ways of thinking and creating. In the region around Umeå the Sámi people, the EU’s only indigenous people, live near to their roots and traditions."

The questions for evaluation to be asked:

- was a self critical context created so that not anything goes for what may be a confusion between the arts and info-tainment

- was the European dimension fulfilled or some reason or another missed out as an opportunity to be a European Capital of Culture which is not perceived to be interested solely in terms of self promotion. Again a marketing concept misleads the use of the title so that resources are spend along the lines of what makes a city more attractive for both outsiders but also local residents. Naturally such a functional use of the arts is never for the sake of the arts itself.

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